Boards discuss library bonding options

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 5:58PM

As decision time on a proposed $3 million bond to renovate the Peterborough Library approaches, the Budget Committee and Select Board are weighing the pros and cons of a long bond and lower payments with mounting interest.

In a joint meeting on Tuesday, the two boards discussed the length of the bond the town may enter into, and the impact on the tax rate.

Without bonding, a $3 million appropriation would raise Peterborough’s tax rate by $4.94, but that increase would only last a single year.

Bonding at 3 percent for 20 years would increase the tax rate by between 37 and 38 cents per year for the life of the bond. A 30 year bond at the same percentage rate would be in the range of 30 cents per year.

While no decision has been made on the time frame of the bond, if voters choose to approve it in May, the Budget Committee discussed what the best method would be.

While members of both boards agreed that not bonding likely wasn’t an option, with Budget Committee Chair Roland Patten commenting that such a big one-time hit would have residents “borrowing money to pay their tax bill.”

Considering the amount of difference between a 20-year and 30-year bond compared to the interest accumulated, said Patton, a 20-year bond would likely be the best approach.

Budget member Rich Clark, however, disagreed, saying, “I think 20 years is too long.”

While he agreed voters likely wouldn’t stand for a one-year hit, he said the town should consider 10- or 15-year bonds.

The Select Board of the Town of Peterborough will hold a public hearing on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Town House to discuss the proposed budget, warrant and bonds.